Still Learning: Despite spectacle, U2 doesn't jolt

news-u2The spectacle.

"Spectacle" may have been the buzzword of the night, but somehow the production that was U2, the famed four-piece pop-rock act that took the stage at UVA's Scott Stadium Thursday, never quite became spectacular.

"I was kind of in awe– it was so produced," said local musician Mike Parisi. "It was a spectacle, and I came because I was simultaneously repelled and attracted to it."

While critics raved over the audacity of Charlottesville landing the tenth spot on U2's North American leg of the 360º Tour, the local scene itself has struggled to maintain enough energy and stamina just to keep smaller venues open. While heavy-hitters like John Paul Jones Arena and the soon-to-reopen Jefferson will always attract more mainstream artists– thanks in large part to the efforts of moguls Coran Capshaw and Tres Thomas– smaller spaces, which prominently feature niche or under-the-radar bands, have time and time again struggled to keep afloat. Snagging the attention of the most popular band in the world should indicate that Charlottesville is doing something right for its music– but did Charlottesville show up for the greatest pop tour of all time?

In large part– no. As openers Muse took the stage around 7:30pm, the crowd was thin, and large chunks of the stadium were bare. Audience members chatted or walked up and down the stadium steps as Muse played a flawless, yet less than inspiring set. Their music was a perfect imprint of their albums– the sound was crisp, the instrumentation on point, even frontman Matthew Bellamy's vocals were as clear as on records.

But as the band stayed glued to the center of the stage– which, in the middle of The Spider (or The Claw, as its creators prefer), was an oddly static decision, and their painstakingly British haircuts, shiny shirts, and jerky head thrashing were almost too mechanical. The video screen hanging from the stage and composed of 1 million pieces captured every movement with undeniable clarity– then flashed green lines, swirls, texts in foreign languages across the front of the live images, which, instead of being inspiring, merely left one overwhelmed. While some youthful fans surrounding the stage jumped and cheered, most just head-bobbed or stood still, staring. From up in the stands, the energy was flat-lining.

"There was even less energy than in DC," said David Berlin, who has seen U2 52 times in his life, been to five stops on the 360º tour already (including the FedEx Field show), spent $1,150 on Charlottesville's performance, and plans to attend the Rose Bowl and Las Vegas shows. "I guess this is a wine and cheese college."

Then came the moment of truth: how would U2 make its first impression upon Charlottesville?

The answer– by sneaking on through steps practically hidden in the center circle of the stage– did little to rouse the audience from its slump. Bono threw out references to Thomas Jefferson immediately in the first song (although he kept referring to the "campus"– no one must have prepped him that it is "Grounds"), drawing some cheers. But when he attempted to have an audience sing-a-long during "No Line on the Horizon," he was met with near silence.

Of course, the concert was good. Actually, the music was great. For the most part, The Edge rocked on the guitar; the under-appreciated drummer, Larry Mullen, Jr, was fabulous. The sound was exhilarating, and it seemed like a privilege to see Bono, both in his rock star persona and as an activist, pointing out at Charlottesville and bringing nearly 60,000 people to little Scott Stadium (because goodness knows the football team won't do that anytime soon). The entire concert experience– from parking to crowd control to seating– was nearly flawless. Audience members before and after raved about how quickly they were able to get into the stadium and navigate through traffic, while JPJ general manager Larry Wilson had nothing but praise for the evening.

"It all went off without a hitch," he said. "The traffic went extremely well, and there were no standstills, as we were monitoring from the helicopter and VDOT cameras. The band was happy, the promoter was happy, and the fans had a great night."

The performance lived up to all expectations of spectacle. But somehow, U2 just couldn't quite live up to the expectation of being the greatest band of modern time.

Some of the songs fell flat. "Beautiful Day"– one of the band's better-known hits, especially to the generation currently attending UVA– was completely under-whelming. Bono sat for part of it, then walked around slowly, singing in a lackluster tone. For a song that resonates with the setting's dominant generation, it could have used more energy to fire up the crowd. When Bono emphasized the line, "I love this town," there were a few people who realized he was alluding to Charlottesville and cheered faintly. Then it was over.

"I was hoping it would be more intense," said UVA student Jack Bird. "Some people were really into it, but some were really laid back, nonplussed."

A few more songs went by, and Bono urged the crowd to wave their hands, clap, make some sign of life. For a few minutes, a spark went through the audience, only to have attendees slump back into head-bopping as soon as the singer turned his back.

It wasn't all disappointing. There were several songs that really rocked, especially towards the end. While the concert on September 29 at FedEx field was overtly political, according to fan Berlin, Bono seemed to clean it up for Charlottesville– which was a mistake, as the political shout-outs and subsequent heart-wrenching or balls-to-the-wall performances fired up the Washington audience and created a wave of sustainable energy. A video message from Archbishop Desmond Tutu during the first encore, a dedication of "Sunday Bloody Sunday" to the "nonviolent revolution" in Iran, a performance of "Walk On" for jailed Burmese politician Aung San Suu Kyi all kindled the crowd and transformed the head-bobbing voyeurs into a fiery, active audience.

"They're such a feel-good band– seeing Desmond Tutu on the screen was awesome," audience member Amy Scherer said. "They really know what's going on in the world, and it pulls people in to the greater issues."

But that begs the question: how can U2, four men nearly in their fifties who have been in the spotlight for nearly 30 years, remain relevant? Has their music passed its prime? Have they consigned themselves to being salesmen– for Blackberry, for bipartisanship, for human rights?

"People have a love/hate relationship with this band," said Berlin. "But they have to sell out to corporate sponsors– this last album hasn't sold well, so U2 must recognize that to make money and be viable, they have to have lots of sponsors."

After two encores, two hours, eleven minutes, and seventeen seconds, and "close to a full house," according to Wilson, the spectacle was over. Immediately after the lights lifted and fans began pouring out, crew members started tearing down the stage.

During the middle of the show, Bono paused to introduce the band he has played with for years– but for Charlottesville, he tailored the intros to fit the college-town atmosphere: the Edge was the nerd, Larry Mullen, Jr was the athlete and team captain, Adam was the lady's man, all while Bono still had "a lot to learn." But if the greatest pop-rock tour of all time still has to find time to study, Charlottesville's music aficionados might have quite a bit of cramming to do.


I admit I am one of those who chose not to attend. My reasons were, well, pretty simple. U2 is a band that started off just trying to be something fairly simple, without any real 'fanfare.' I guess theya re a big part of my generation, and I remember seeing them in all these open and raw venues when I was still living in the UK, so many years ago.

Now, it's all just a big 'show.' The fact that they had all those screens and needed 120 rigs to bring it all in totally turned me off. As one listener said, it killed the spontaneity. I agree. I knew what i was getting was not what I liked about them so many years ago.

So, I was able to hear it all on my front porch, and not be distracted by people trying to say "I was there."

A lot of whinning happening here. Learn from history. Stones had traffic issues - get you butt to the show early- period. Raleigh had worse traffic issues than CVille and they are a much larger market.

As far as the show, this is my first time since '87 in Hampton to see U2. Took my son this time. The show started shaky and trailed off towards the end, but the middle was FUN. We are on the floor center field of the outer ring. We jumped and sang and had a good-ol-time :).

It was a great night, but Stones still put on the best show of the 3 @ Scott Stadium.

Ms. Garcia obviously wasn't at the same concert I was.U2 is still the greatest band in the world and puts on an amazing live show!Ms. Garcia wouldn't know a real rock concert if it bit her in the butt!!

Part of the excitement of going to a concert is generated by the band. Part of it is generated by the audience. The band will feed off that energy. Case in point: My Morning Jacket.

My experiences in Scott Stadium are that the crowd there, whether for a concert or a football game, is docile. The people commenting here who claim that the crowd was energetic most likely haven't attended concerts (or football games) elsewhere.

When the Stones concert was delayed for 40 minutes, you could have heard a cricket chirp. The Stones are great enough that the docility of the local population is irrelevant. But U2 is one of those bands that may feed off the energy of the crowd more. Therefore, they might not be a great fit for Charlottesville, where football and rock "fans" LITERALLY sit on their hands during times of peak excitement.

Ms. Garcia's criticism seems to be provoking a defensive reaction, which is appropriate when much of the criticism SHOULD BE leveled against the crowd.

Guess you weren't in my section way up high. We screamed and danced and sang almost the entire show and the 80 yrs olds in front of us were into it !

Greene Ghost said, "Hawes, I want to read your review”Š"

Why is that? Do you want Hawes to reassure you of what you are already convinced of? Judging from the comments, this seems to be what people would like journalism to be nowadays: a reinforcement of what they already believe. Which makes dissenting reviews like this article so much harder to swallow, I guess.

The Stones are still Scotts top act IMO. It was great to see U2 and they did a top job but I do agree the energy was lacking at times...maybe the crowd was too clean and there wasn't enough 420 in the air. :) Having a Thursday night show didn't allow more to let their hair down perhaps due to work/classes the next day.

Good grief, people!

Give the girl a break!

Was there - a great night - show was super and we had no parking or traffic problems at all. Perhaps the reviewer should stick to "smaller spaces, which prominently feature niche or under-the-radar bands, have time and time again struggled to keep afloat" which may be a better fit for her strange review commentary.

I couldn't believe the number of people sitting in their seats. Who sits for a rock concert?

This is for Mr Oblivious:

"Rock journalism is people who can't write interviewing people who can't talk for people who can't read." - Frank Zappa

I have to echo the sentiment that too many people didn't participate in the show - the energy is a two way street. I've been at concerts where the audience was singing so loud that the band just let us sing! that's crowd energy. I think the guys really put it all out there and left everything on the stage, but not the audience. I was asked several times to sit down and was baffled by that, standing and singing are part of the concert experience - and really if Sunday Bloody Sunday doesn't make you want to stand up at a U2 concert, why'd you buy the tickets??

Having written music reviews for the past 40 years, many under drop-dead deadlines, and having been the recipient of a VPA award, as well as having been a judge for VPA awards, qualifies me to make an honest assessment of Stephanie's piece. And with the Hook having won several awards from the VPA year in and year out since its inception, this "review" clearly fails to pass any objective standard of a tight, well-focused article. Indeed, she was all over the map and it was patently muddled as to what she was attempting to convey.

Obviously you have an interest in defending Stephanie that has nothing to do with journalism or U2's concert. And, you should be well aware that no one has to check this site as it automatically notifies you when a response has been posted. And, why on earth would you assume I am a guy, and, if so, that I even date women?

What pray tell, speaking as a Brit who now calls Cville his home, is a "painstakingly British haircut"?

(P.S. Gig was great - wish we'd had more than 45 mins of Muse though - crowd was what you'd expect in a college town at a stadium venue - a mixed bag - but not quite as flat and devoid of energy as this article would have you believe).

I was at the show and everyone was going nuts! I loved it. I think the crowd response varies depending on what section you're in. ( Not that it matters... sometimes a band is awesome and the crowd is just reserved )

some people just need to be different; their desire to always demonstrate their "differentness" causes them to miss the obvious; great band, great show, great event. sometime pretentiousness can get in the way of the truth, which is clearly has here.

but the good news is its a bit chilly today, Im sure the reviewer has a unique new scarf they are dying to bust out.

Ducky, you would not know good journalism if it bit you in the ass. Stephanie's piece was simply poorly written, extremely rambling, and not very well focused on the event itself. If I had wanted to read a political piece, I would have sought out The Nation. She cannot write and there is nothing to rebut. I want to read Hawes's review because he knows how to write, is a music aficionado, and he can write in a balanced, temperate fashion, even if he hated the show.

"Can we all just agree that U2 is at heart a corporate rock band, a more successful version of Foreigner?"

You meant Styx didn't you?

Eno can make any most anyone sound good, but I've never understood why he bothered with U2. Not much to work with, but maybe he was worried about house payments or something. Damn, if only Devo or my god, the Residents were doing arena shows with that sort of budget, but I guess then they would have had to sell their souls too.

What is wrong with being a corporate rock band? If I had the talent I would squeeze every single red cent from corporations and the idiots who buy music in every format available.

What in the world does that last line mean? Why, why, why can't The Hook hire a worthy music writer?

Why? It was a sophomoric effort, if one could even call it that.

Music lover: You can play dumb hypothetical math games if you wish, but did you look up at the upper deck and see all the empty seats in the part of the stadium near that was not enclosed closest to the aquatic center (sections 501 to 508ish)? It was pretty sparse. And the last time I checked there is no upper deck over the hill. While they spun the drum set around a couple times, wasn't most of the show was directed toward the hill area and those on the floor in front of the hill? There were also a number of spots on the middle part of the hill that didn't provide good viewing because of a massive soundboard kiosk thing. Did the moving foot bridges make a full 360 turn? I could be nitpicking, but I thought a stage pointing toward the enclosed sections of Scott Stadium would have made more sense, a la the Stones.

I think Stephanie got it right with her analysis of the claw experience and the overall show. The band played well and the music sounded good, but it was not the best U2 show I've ever seen. Stuck in the moment was a highlight. I am curious if others that have seen U2 before feel this way.

deleted by moderator

Were we at the same show?

U2 ROCKED, the concert & fans were fantastic. This article is waayyy off. I walked so can't comment on the traffic, but people were buzzing after the show, everyone I saw loved it.

The screen that opened down into a honey comb was fantastic! What a creative way to use film and make a dramatic presentation. The music was crisp and tight. A very enjoyable show and a nostalgic evening for those of us who were the original MTV generation.

Call me innocent, naive, or a fool, but I loved the concert. Being able to count the number of rock concerts attended on one hand and having little knowledge of U2, sitting high in the Scott Stadium bleachers, I was transported to a place I'd never been.

too wonderful for words
woke up this morning -- my entire body tingling
total mind/body altering experience
feel I've been in the presence of an enormous heart and an unbelievable talent
will never be quite the same again

this will be a night of beauty and emotion I will always treasure

This is such a typical response for someone in Albemarle County (i.e. the "snob" capital of Virginia).

The concert was fine. The venue was fine. The stage and music was fine. Everything about it was to be expected and people worked hard to try to make it an enjoyable time for everyone.

I think journalists (seriously, can we really call local vocational school graduates "journalists"?) can't simply say something was nice or do anything other than complain. Being a whiner isn't edgy nor does it sell stories. It merely devalues society and contributes to the decline of general happiness in the lives of humanity. It's pathetic really. Music is an amazing gift from God and we all should be privilidged to hear it in any form.

JW - I think we're agreeing. I'm saying that IF the open end were closed it would have made sense to point the stage/band in that direction. But since it isn't it would have made more sense to point the stage/band toward the closed end/locker room end/sections 116/117/118.

I don't know any dumb hypothetical math games. I hate math.

Dude, it appears you've checked back in all day just to bash the writer. Did she refuse you a date back in high school?

Maybe the piece seems a little rushed (the show did end after 11), but the quality of the writing is basically on par with everything else I read from the Hook. Lighten up.

You, the fans you spoke with, and Larry Wilson must have been at another venue to think the traffic went without a hitch! We have season tickets to football games, so we know our way in and out of the stadium. Yes, traffic TO the event was good. However, afterwards was a NIGHTMARE. It took us an hour to make our way from red zone parking to Rt. 29 North (and I mean just the section right by Bodos Bagels). We got to our car fairly quickly and out of the lot in not bad time. But the traffic direction was horrendous. We could not go out the way we came and were directed to a part of Charlottesville that not only we were unfamiliar with, but didn't lead to 29 North. Everywhere was bumper to bumper. JPA was a parking lot in both directions. It took 3 U-turns to finally get going the right direction. And we were not the only ones. I must have seen at least 20 cars doing the same thing. So how could traffic have gone smoothly?!

There were absolutely no signs saying "Rt. 29 North ", which would have made things so much easier. Or even in the packet of parking and driving directions, include the paths out. Instead it left us with a very sour taste for both the night and seeing any shows in Charlottesville. Speaking with an Events person after the show, it was said they didn't clear out the area for 2 hours. Football games take 30 mins. Yes, there may have been 6-7 thousand more people, but that's not but about a 15% increase in number of people over football games (during good seasons).

I agree with the thought that some parts of the show dragged due to non-participation from the audience. Its my first U2 show since the second tour in support of Joshua Tree and I still think it was wonderful.

I also stop giving little credence to a review when I read that the members of the band are "U2, four men in their fifties..." Since none of them are 50 I wonder how that happened? If you can't fact check, it means that you tossed this one off rather quickly without consideration. Thats not writing about someone or an event, thats meeting a deadline.

Just, if it was your intention to ask me to be bit more courteous (to whom?), why didn't you say that, rather than attack me, as you did again? Those who seek a byline must do so with an ability to write well AND have a very thick skin. And, journalists, as well as pretenders, must adhere to certain standards if they wish to be taken seriously. If that makes me a self-righteous prick, I am more the happy to oblige. Maybe it would be helpful if you had some standards for yourself that do not include fuzzy-headed, feel-good tripe.

@ ohgeez re: "What is wrong with being a corporate rock band?"

For one things, they often have throngs of dlckehead fans that can't begin to keep time not to mention a carry a tune that feel that they and the rest of the audience ought to sing along. There really isn't much worse than paying to hear professional musicians and then having to listen to idiots like Rick and agree that think their feeble efforts are what I ought to be hearing instead. Save that crap for your football games.

So,What show was Stephanie at? The all access press pass jaded media I gotta write something provacative or I won't seem relevant backstage? Traffic went SMOOTHLY?!? U2 couldn't excite the crowd? What color is the sky in your world Steph? I may not have been to 52 shows like the fan you talked to , but, I have been seeing them in California and New Jersey for the last 30 years and let me tell you Charlottesville has volumes to learn about welcoming a band of the stature and quality of U2. I wanted to scream "What's Wrong With Charlottesville?" When I saw that teaser headline on the cover. But then, I realized not even U2 can open ALL minds.

Are you kidding? I was there last night and thought it was incredible. The way the crowd sang along to Still haven't found what I'm looking for was awesome. Everyone sang almost completely in unison. It was an amazing show.

When I found out that U2 was going to come to Charlottesville I was shocked! Being from Richmond this was so convenient for me, everything was smooth, if you had trouble with parking then you did not plan ahead. Did you not study up on how U2 packs out venues?
The sound was full and incredible, the visuals were stunning and the energy was high in the stadium.

This reviewer is completely out of touch with the rest of the world. How many bands could fill up football stadiums across the world for their concerts? This night was so memorable, I had a great time!

Filling a venue and sounding good is not all there is to a putting on a rock concert. A connection between the artist and their fans needs to be made, not one that emerges from references to the town they are playing in or global political commentaries. No, there needs to be a connection made at the moment in the music between fan and musician, and apparently that didn't really happen.

It makes one wonder, doesn't it? What could possibly prevent U2 from establishing such a connection--one that they seem pretty experienced at making? I suggest that it may be a problem with fans. Perhaps all you who are content with buying a ticket and then sitting around are the reason the review came out the way it did. After all, concerts should setup a dialectic between artist and fan, and if the energy was low, it's no wonder Bono walked slowly around and sat down at times. Why should he bother getting really excited when he looks out upon a motionless crowd?

I believe this is the crux of Stephanie's argument that so many of you are simply ignoring in favor of berating her.

I heard the music on Pantops Mountain.

Generally, I have found big stadium rock shows to be a little like playing King Lear. By the time you're old enough to understand it, you're no longer able to do it physically. Similarly, with rock stars, by the time they can command a big stadium they are past their prime. U2 was a definite exception. They're a band still at he height of their power, probably because they started so young.

For all of the bravado of the production, my favorite moment might have been Bono, The Edge and an acoustic guitar doing "Stuck in a Moment".

My one criticism is probably not the fault of the band, rather the nature of the beast. While the production was an amazing spectacle, it squelched any possibility of spontaneity. The whole thing was very slick and well-rehearsed. While we may never return to the days of The Beatles on a small stage in the middle of Shea Stadium, I would have liked for them and us to have had some moments of the unexpected. All-in-all, however, a kick ass show.

trafiic ran smoothe? What a joke. After driving around for 1 1/2 hours I was forced by police to drive 3 miles out from the venue, no parking, utter gridlock, so I just turned around and went home. C-ville cannot handle these types of events.

Yes, ML, I think we are agreeing and I dislike math too. Mr. Obvious, you are right it was enjoyable. We are fortunate to have a band like U2 make Charlottesville a tour stop. Peace.

I attended the show and thought the reviewer really just mailed this one in. There's no insightful analysis about the band or the songs--no scene set or mention of the Space Oddity intro.

You want to talk about a terrible show--Springsteen in April of 2008 at JPJ was abysmal with a deadened crowd. I encourage the reviewer to watch the YouTube videos from the show -- especially those that pan the crowd on "Where the Streets Have No Name."

The sound was incredible. I listened to this music 25 years ago as an undergrad at UVA and to hear it come alive on the grounds was extremely moving. I will never attend a concert at Fedex Field -- on general principle -- you are not in the same zip code.

Bono was graceful and electrifying but Edge stole the show--what about their duet on "Stuck in a Moment" - just the two of them on stage - Edge playing an acoustic guitar.

You need to give the people who weren't there something more substantial than, "there were several songs that really rocked. That's a mail in. Show me--don't tell me.

Bono doesn't go for Jagger's machinations and is not aloof like Sting, he has more gravitas and power than most if not all of the world's leaders, but he doesn't flaunt it. He is using his gifts. There's a humility there -- the 'we're just four lads from Dublin' - that carries a powerful message.

And no, the new album does not rate with "How to Build an Atomic Bomb" - which sold seven million copies or "All That You Can't Leave Behind" -- but "Magnificent" was performed flawlessly and "Stand Up" which was not played is an excellent song. There are some weak lyrics but there are some solid lines as well ("Stop helping God across the road like a little old lady.")

I have a lot of gratitude that I was able to see them -- especially at my alma mater -- a once in a lifetime thing and couldn't believe the freshness of "New Year's Day" and "Sunday Bloody Sunday" and the incredible irony of the slight fatigue or frustration in his voice as he sang, "How long must I sing this song?"

If you are going to pursue a serious writing career you are going to need to give the reader more than a perception and a couple of quotes.

on a scale of 1-10 i'd give this a 7. there appeared to be too much unused stage. perhaps 'u2 180' would have been more fitting and a better show.

Were we at the same concert? The traffic was well under control. . . parked on Shamrock and walked to Durty Nelly's for a few beers, then on to Scott Stadium. If the crowd's rendition of I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For didn't get to you emotionally, then you should not have been there. . . . great show!

The people that complained about the traffic were the ones that left for the show at 5pm, thinking that would give them enough time to get there and park. WRONG! Get a clue people, you can't show up for a concert, football game, etc. 1-hour before the show time and expect to have no traffic issues. U2 played Raleigh two nights later and some people there also complained about the traffic. As many of those reviewers said, "you can't leave for a NC St. football game 90 minutes before kick-off and expect to be there on time."
Don't blame the traffic issues on Cville.
The show was great!

Just the thought of thousands of people singing I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For off-key makes me feel ill. It's wretched enough on the radio. Thanks Lynne for confirming that I was wise to stay home that night.

I'm sad to say that I, 2, would have to leave the man hanging on a singalong for "No Line on the Horizon." Actually, no, I'm not really all that sad about it.

Was this a music review or political commentary? Either way, it was a tortured piece of drivel. Hawes, I want to read your review...

Can we all just agree that U2 is at heart a corporate rock band, a more successful version of Foreigner?

Opening acts on grand, elaborate stages are usually directed in no uncertain terms not to use the accoutrements created for the headliner's show. The ramps and walkways were built for Bono and the Edge, not Muse. That's probably why Muse remained in the center of the stage.

The reviewer comes across as bitter for some reason. Was she forced to attend a concert she had no interest in? The Washington Post used to have a rock critic named Richard Harrington and you could tell when he just didn't really like the band he was sent to cover. This reminds me of that.

JW wrote: "They played mainly to the part of the stadium with the fewest fans."

Really? That's pretty stupid - it would have made sense if the open end were closed - then the band would be facing the highest % of attendees.

Great show and a great set list. I have wanted to see U2 for a long time and they did not disappoint.

The music was tight and the overall sound for a stadium show was very good, if not the best I've ever heard. There was little 360 to this show besides the impressive screen. The biggest miscalculation was orienting the stage front toward the hill. They played mainly to the part of the stadium with the fewest fans. Maybe there was a valid reason for this decision.

Mary, apparently you DON'T know your way in and out of the stadium if you need signs directing to you to 29 North from the Red Zone parking. Sounds like a little impatience took over, because either way on JPA would have gotten you out of there and on your way home.

Attacking the reporter's personal qualities just because you don't agree with her opinions? Just because she gives an assessment different from your own, your kneejerk reaction is to antagonize by imagining her into a certain type of person, someone who's "bitter," "out of touch," part of "snob" country, "being a whiner," feels the need to be "different," a "vocational school graduate"?

People. What happened to civil discourse?

If you want to rebut her arguments, then focus on the arguments. Imagining and then attacking her character simply makes you look desperate.

Still on a U2 high. Meeting people I've never known before all over town who loved the concert. Realize that besides the wonderful set, band, music, probably a large part of the experience was sharing it with someone I was close to, and who enjoyed rockin and rollin as much as I did --we danced and sang for most of the concert, even made masks at U2's request, to honor the Burmese leader who Bono wrote "Walk on" for. Went to the concert with a close friend in the mood to have a great time and we did !

Whatever you are, I'm guessing you haven't had a date in a while. Wouldn't be any room for anybody else, what with your ego and all. Cheers!

Totally agree. There are few concerts that I've attended that are still as fresh and vivid weeks later. I appreciate your thoughtful and well written analysis, and suggest you apply for a job at the Hook.

Just, why is it when you cannot address the issue of a poor and unbalanced review you can only resort to childish, ad hominem attacks on the messenger. All who can read can see for themselves how rambling this piece is, as it jumps from a completely irrelevant observation of the ostensibly struggling local music scene to contrive a storyline that really went no-where. Then there were those "man in the street" interviews that have no relevance to a music reviewers mission, which is to evaluate a given performance dependent upon the REVIEWER'S hopefully deep experience as a reviewer and her credibility as an observer. How did David Berlin become an expert anyway? Further, why in the world could she not make a reasonable conclusion as to weather the house was full or not, or close to it, rather than get it from the promoter's representative. I mean, she was there and should have been able to tell us herself. The line about the screen containing "1 million pieces" was taken right out of the press kit and meant zip with regards to its clarity, as that was delivered by 500,000 pixels. As apparent Friends of Stephanie, unless you all are a Stephanie trolls, you all would do well to assist her understanding of why her writing fell short as a reviewer.

That should be "...unless you all are Stephaine trolls..."

And, for those who need to know, I am happily married.

apparently one must have a hidden agenda to wish someone to be courteous rather than a self righteous prick. my mistake.

as with most Charlottesville 'events' too many folks were just happy to be there and talk about it the next day because it was the cool thing to do - not actually participate by standing, clapping and singing along.

I think she was tired . Maybe better to hold the review for the morning coffee.